alexis scott
4 min readJan 13, 2021


Elegy For My Uncle Whom Coronavirus Stole

As I cleaned up what was left behind

after the virus took him

(Not the first virus, the

one he never got despite being

Gay in New York in the Eighties and

Losing at least one Lover)

The cough drops, the Gatorade,

a lone thermometer,

too many paper towels into which

he coughed, (Did he cry?)

a sink of dishes,

a couch of blankets,

a shoe here, a shoe there.

My mother had never been to this

apartment before; she kept saying

“I’m sorry Marc, I’m sorry Marc,”

talking to her lost little brother.

We took turns weeping on the balcony

as strong men removed his furniture,

as the pictures came off the walls.

I put his clothes in a garbage bag, the

perfectly blue jeans, the

perfectly collared shirts, the

underwear and the disorganized shoes.

I kept hearing him say, “I’m sorry, Lex.

Thank you, Lex. Please get these people

out of my apartment.” He never would have

hosted so many without

cleaning up first.

His best friend came and in a mask

helped us decide what to keep as we

opened drawers full of coins and

closets full of boxes of business cards

on the back of which said

“Live Your Self.”

This isn’t how I wanted our

parting to be, me plugging his cell phone in to

charge to see if there were any

last texts sent to say, “I’m scared” or

“I think I’m dying alone.” The

passcode impenetrable.

I took a break and walked to

Zabar’s where the usual hustle remained

but masked; people buying bagels,